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FAS gives green light to Rio Tinto-IST Kamchatka deal

January 25, 2014, 3:27 UTC+3 25
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MOSCOW, January 25 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has permitted a joint venture of the British-Australian Rio Tinto, one of the world’s major mining companies, and Alexander Nesis’ IST Group to buy 100 percent of the Kirganik company (St. Petersburg) prospecting precious metals in the Kamchatka Territory in Russia’s Far East.

The JV Rio Tinto ICT Ltd was registered in Cyprus in 2011 to develop geological prospecting projects on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Last October Kirganik won the right to subsurface use for geological prospecting, exploration and production of copper, gold and silver within Khim-Kirganik ore cluster in Kamchatka Territory, having offered 24.2 million roubles at the auction. Inferred copper resources of P1 and P2 category are 480,000 tonnes and 425,000 tonnes respectively (average concentration of 0.71 percent), while inferred gold resources are estimated at 47 tonnes (average concentration of 0.6 grammes per tonne), Р2 silver - 560 tonnes. Resources may be considerably expanded on a geophysical anomaly of about 1.5 square kilometres supposed to be a deposit of rich copper ores, said Federal Subsurface Use Agency, Rosnedra.

In 2011 the JV acquired from IST Olkhovoye and Lazurnoye companies holding two licences for geological prospecting in Dranka deposit with Р3 gold (4 tonnes) and silver (21 tonnes) resources and Lazurnoye copper and polymetallic deposit. Rio Tinto was reported not to pay for a share in Russian licences, the main aim of the deal being sharing future spending on geological prospecting.

Nesis is one of the major shareholders at Polymetal, Russia’s leading silver producer, holding a 18.49 percent stake.

St. Petersburg-registered Kirganik mines ores and alluvials of precious metals, including gold, silver and platinum-group metals, goes the FAS’ report.

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